September 28th, 2020

Bargain Finder 262: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

AccurateShooter Deals of the Week Weekly Bargain Finder Sale Discount Savings

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Sunday afternoon or Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Natchez — Frankford Arsenal Intellidropper, $179.99

frankford arsenal intellidropper
Fast, programmable, accurate dispenser at great price

If you’re looking for an affordable yet reliable and accurate upgrade for your powder measuring system check out the Frankford Arsenal Intellidropper. It’s accurate to one-tenth of a grain, dispenses in seconds, and can be controlled by a handy Spp on your phone (that can remember various charges weights for different cartridges). IMPORTANT: The advertised price is higher. However, when you add the Intellidropper to your Natchez online shipping cart, the price drops to $179.99! That’s a killer deal.

2. Sportsman’s Warehouse — Ruger American Rifle, $399.99

ruger american rifle sale
Good choice for affordable hunting rifle with strong warranty

Hunting season is around the corner. Who doesn’t want a new gun to take on that big fall hunt? Hunters looking for a good, solid deer rifle that’s very affordable should consider the Ruger American rifle. Right now you can get this in 6.5 Creedmoor, .308 Win, .243 Win, .270 Win, or 7mm-08 — each for the low price of $399.99. Grab one of these Ruger Americans and be set up for hunting season. For optics, consider a Vortex Strike Eagle scope for $299.99, as listed below.

3. MidwayUSA — SnapSafe 2-Gun Vault PLUS Pistol Safe, $99.99

snapsafe vault
Twin pistol safe package — good for home and workshop

Keeping your handguns safe and out of unwanted hands is the responsibility of every gun owner. Here’s a good 2-for-1 option for safe handgun storage. MidwayUSA is offering the SnapSafe 2-Handgun electronic vault PLUS free pistol safe for just $99.99. The electronic vault has a top-mounted finger keypad for rapid access. This is bigger than some of the competition so it easily holds two handguns plus other valuables. The smaller pistol safe has a key-lock and fits easily in a drawer.

4. Creedmoor Sports — Kowa 82SV Spotting Scope With 25X LER Eyepiece Combo and Creedmoor DLX Scope Cover, $999.00

kowa spotting scope
Highly rated Kowa Spotter with free cover

Walk the line of any high-power match and you’ll see more Kowa spotting scopes than any other brand and for good reason. They’re clear, crisp and great for reading mirage and you can pick up the Kowa 82SV Spotting Scope With 25X LER Eyepiece Combo plus Creedmoor Scope Cover for $999 or the Kowa 82SV Spotting Scope With 20-60X Zoom Eyepiece Combo plus Creedmoor Scope Cover for $1085. Either option will put you in control of reading the wind flags and mirage better than ever. Note that both packages come with a premium-quality Creedmoor scope cover, a $59.95 value.

5. Amazon — 10000mAh Dual USB Battery Charger Packs, $19.99

battery charge pack
Recharge your smartphones and tablets — good for Labradar too

Do you have a cellphone, tablet, LabRadar, barrel cooler or other device that needs mobile power? If so, we found a killer deal on a pair of Miady 10000mAh Dual USB Portable Chargers. Yes you get TWO (2) charging packs for just $19.99 total! Featuring USB and USB-C ports and fast 2 amp charging capability, this pair of portable power banks is one of the best deals we’ve seen.

6. Brownells — Caldwell Fire Control Coaxial Front Rest, $246.99

caldwell fire control
Functional Coaxial Rest at fraction of cost of big mames

Most people have seen or heard of high-end rests like SEB or Farley, but did you know there’s a great entry level joystick rest for under $300? For those getting started pick up the Fire Control front rest from Caldwell and you’ll be off and running. These rests are a great upgrade from standard lead sleds or sandbags and the integrated joystick control give you pin-point adjustments for the best shooting experience possible.

7. EuroOptic — Vortex Strike Eagle Scopes, $299.99 and Up

vortex strike eagle
Good basic scopes for hunting rifles — 33% Off savings

Vortex offers great “bang for the buck” in optics, along with an industry-leading warranty. And here is one of the best Vortex Sales we’ve seen. Right now EuroOptic has deeply discounted Vortex Strike Eagle scopes. A wide variety of Strike Eagles, a good choice for a deer rifle or AR, are now up to 33% off, with retail prices as low as $299.99. Chose your preferred zoom range — from 1-6X to 5-25X.

7. Amazon — Flambeau 6500AR AR Tactical Gun Case, $46.22

gun case sale
Case has compartments for magazines and rust-fighting feature

Transporting guns securely requires a quality case, but good ones can be expensive. This Flambeau case offers solid protection for under $47.00. The Flambeau Outdoors 6500AR AR Tactical Gun 40″ case with ZERUST fits most mid-sized rifles and features a special corrosion inhibiting vapor that forms a protective layer on metal to stop rust. At 44% off with FREE Shipping this is a solid deal.

9. MidwayUSA — Hunting Gear — 29% to 60% Off

Thompson Center Compass II Rifle Vortex Scope
Get gear for your annual hunt while saving big

Hunting season is here. Grab those extra gear items you need before you head out into the backwoods on your hunt. At MidwayUSA you’ll find great hunting items at bargain prices right now. As shown above, here are some of our top hunting gear picks:

1. MidwayUSA Stealth 2.0 Softshell Camo Pants, starting at $27.86 (60% Off)
2. MidwayUSA Prairie Creek Softshell Camo Jacket, $41.26 (51% Off)
3. Stealth Cam BT-USA Trail Camera, $49.99 (44% Off)
4. Hawk Crawler Steel Game Cart, $119.99 (29% Off)

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Hot Deals, Hunting/Varminting No Comments »
September 28th, 2020

Remington Assets to Be Divided Among Multiple Companies

Remington Factory Bankruptcy chapter 11

This is a sad story. Remington, America’s oldest continuously-operated gunmaker, has collapsed due to debts and litigation. Through a bankruptcy proceeding, Remington’s product lines and other assets are being acquired by a variety of companies, including Ruger, Vista Outdoor, Sierra, and other large shooting/outdoor industry enterprises. Notably, Ruger will pay $30 million to get the Marlin brand, and Sierra will take over Barnes bullets/ammo business, paying $30.5 million.

The sell-off of Remington assets, specifically product brands, will be going forward through Federal Bankruptcy court, with an order expected Tuesday September 29, 2020. The Shooting Wire reported on 9/28/2020:

Although it won’t be formalized until approved at a hearing scheduled tomorrow (Tuesday, September 29, 2020) in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Alabama, the breakup plan for Remington was filed yesterday. Barring something unforeseen, Remington and its associated companies will be divided among Ruger, Vista Outdoor, Roundhill Group, LLC, Sierra Bullets, Sportsman’s Warehouse, Franklin Armory, and JJE Capital [Palmetto State Armory]. Remington’s Lonoke, Arkansas, ammunition business will go to Vista Outdoor (with SIG Sauer as a backup bid), Sierra Bullets will acquire the Barnes Ammunition interests, Ruger will acquire Marlin, Franklin Armory will assume the Bushmaster brand (and related assets), JJE Capital Holdings will assume DPMS, H&R, Stormlake, AAC, and Parker brands, and Sportsman’s Warehouse will acquire the Tapco brand.

Remington assets will be divided among: Franklin Armory, JJE Capital, Ruger, Roundhill Group, Sierra Bullets, Sportsman’s Warehouse, Vista Outdoor.

Remington Factory Bankruptcy chapter 11
Remington-owned brands displayed at Remington booth at SHOT Show. Photo by Remington.

Even with surging firearms sales in 2020, Remington Arms Company (Remington) found itself in financial trouble — with overwhelming obligations to creditors and investors. Accordingly, on July 27, 2020, Remington filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy — the second time in recent years.

Remington Factory Bankruptcy chapter 11

Remington, based in Madison, North Carolina, previously filed for Chapter 11 in March 2018. With major loan reorganizations, Remington “emerged nearly two months later, having converted more than $775 million in debt into equity for its lenders.” (Source: Syracuse.com.) However, despite this debt-restructuring, the company struggled with high interest costs and litigation related to the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting. The perpetrator had a Bushmaster XM15-E2S rifle sold by Remington.

Remington Factory Bankruptcy chapter 11

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September 27th, 2020

Do-It-Yourself Chamber Length Gauge

do it yourself chamber length gauge Sinclair case neck

Here is a clever DIY tool we learned about from Frank Shuster, a Forum member, who, sadly, passed away in 2015. Frank was a very knowledgeable shooter who was always willing to help others. Here is one of Frank’s smart inventions. He devised a way to measure the length of a rifle’s chamber using a fired cartridge case. Frank’s system works by cutting a “collar” from part of the case neck. This then slips over a bullet seated in a case loaded without powder or primer. As you chamber the dummy round, the collar will move back to indicate the full length of the chamber. (Make sure the bullet is seated well off the lands so the dummy round can chamber fully.)

do it yourself chamber length gauge Sinclair case neck

do it yourself chamber length gauge Sinclair case neck

The pictured gauge can be home made (for free) with components you already have on hand. Frank explained: “I used a Dremel cut-off wheel to cut the front half of the case neck off. A jewelers needle file to de-burr both rough-cut edges. The cut-off surface does not need to be perfectly square, because you are using the original straight mouth to make contact at the front of the chamber. Seat any old bullet to the approximate normal seating length. Next apply a tiny drop of oil on the ogive of the bullet, and slide the ‘collar’ over the bullet. Then chamber the dummy round and close the bolt. Extract the round slowly and carefully and take the measurement with calipers (see top photo).”

Frank’s DIY chamber length gauge works well. In a related Forum thread, Frank posted: “I’ve compared length dimensions doing it this way and with the chamber length shown on my chambering reamer drawings, and the Sinclair gauge, and they are all within .001″ or so.”

do it yourself chamber length gauge Sinclair case neckCommercial Chamber Length Gauges May Not Work with Custom Chambers

Frank did use Sinclair chamber-length gauges for some applications. These bullet-shaped gauges slip into a cartridge, but “it’s inconvenient to order that little gauge only… without spending $6 shipping for a $7 item.” Moreover, the Sinclair gauges may not fit a custom chamber with a tighter neck dimension because the diameter of the ring at the end is too large.

As an alternative to commercial gauges, the collar-type, homemade gauge will function properly in a custom chamber. The homemade gauge will work with smaller-than-standard chamber neck dimensions, as long as you use a piece of appropriately-turned fired brass that fits your chamber.

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September 25th, 2020

Reloading Can Be Fun … and a Stress-Reliever

Sierra Bullets Blog handloading stress relief

by Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Philip Mahin for Sierra Bullets Blog
A lot of calls that come into the Sierra Customer Service Center are made by shooters [of retirement age]. Most of the time the shooter used to reload back when they were [younger] and stopped in order to raise a family, pursue a career, or both. Maybe their father or grandfather taught them back in the day and they are looking for an answer to the new whatchamacallit they found on the internet. The point is they are coming back to it because it was fun.

Reloading Can Provide Stress Relief
As a father of three, a husband, a brother, a son and son-in-law, and a friend and neighbor, I get pulled in a lot of directions. In all honesty, reloading and shooting has become a stress relief for me even though I work in the shooting industry.

Sometimes, the shooting gets put on hold for other more important things but there will always be another project or repair to accomplish. There are a lot out there that have found a way to balance the work life, the family life, and the play life. I would like to applaud you on your efforts because it is a hard thing to accomplish.

Remember to take time and relieve that stress. Do something fun, especially if it is shooting that special hand-load you just made.

AccurateShooter Comment — Hand-Loading and the Creative Process
Reloading your own precise ammo can be rewarding in many ways. First it allows you a temporary escape from work pressures, “Honey-Dos”, filing your taxes — whatever. It’s just you and Mr. Rockchucker spending quality time in the loading room. Second, hand-loading is a creative process that engages the mind. During load development, you are like an inventor, selecting a powder charge, choosing the bushing size, experimenting with seating depths, working to perfect your load.

Lastly, the process of hand-loading is rewarding because you are building something start to finish. You begin with components — bullets, brass, and powder, and end up with a finished product that (hopefully) is better than the best factory ammo you could buy. It is enormously satisfying to start with piles of bullets and brass and end up with beautiful hand-loads that can deliver great accuracy.

This post originally appeared in the Sierra Bullets Blog.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 1 Comment »
September 24th, 2020

Will U.S. Military Start Using Ammunition with Composite Cases?

true velocity composite polymer case ammunition ammo U.S. Military production

True Velocity is a Texas-based ammo-maker with 145 issued patents on its products and technologies. More than 1 million rounds of True Velocity composite-cased cartridges will be delivered through 2020-2021 to the U.S. Army. This revolutionary new ammo will be tested by the U.S. Army’s Next Generation Squad Weapons program. The advantage of the composite cases, which employ various polymers, is primarily weight savings. True Velocity-made ammo is 30% lighter than conventional ammunition. That means that a typical soldier’s load-out can be reduced by many POUNDS with this innovative ammo. And the military can transport much more ammo with existing vehicles and aircraft.

true velocity composite polymer case ammunition ammo U.S. Military production

true velocity composite polymer case ammunition ammo U.S. Military production

true velocity composite polymer case ammunition ammo U.S. Military production

The company claims: “True Velocity’s precision engineering and manufacturing capabilities allow for substantial improvements in consistency over brass. Our proprietary technology and manufacturing process, combined with progressive process and quality control standards … yields a cartridge of unparalleled performance.” In addition, True Velocity can produce ammo in smaller facilities than a typical large ammo plant. The company states: “The company’s manufacturing capabilities can power customizable and highly-portable ‘cells’, allowing for decentralized and automated ammunition production.”

True Velocity’s modern composite cases withstand temperature changes very well and can function well even in sub-zero environments (however you still may have issues with the powder inside at super-low temps). In addition, the composite cases are 100% recyclable. This can make a difference for shooting ranges and training facilities. One question we have, however, is long-term durability. Brass cartridges can remain strong and functional for decades. Some plastics degrade in just a few years. It will be interesting to see how the True Velocity composite cases hold up over time.

true velocity composite polymer case ammunition ammo U.S. Military production

True Velocity is an advanced technology and composite manufacturing company based in Garland, Texas. Founded in 2010, True Velocity has more than 250 patents pending or issued on its products, technology, and manufacturing processes. True Velocity products are manufactured in the U.S. in a state-of-the-art, 66,000-square-foot facility and are currently available to public agencies, with consumer products available soon. For more information, visit TVammo.com.

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product, Tactical 10 Comments »
September 24th, 2020

Case Diagnostics — How to Find Defects in Cartridge Brass

Case Diagnostics 101 Sierra Bullets .223 Rem 5.56 brass cartridge safety

Ever wondered what caused a particular bulge or marking on a case? And more importantly, does the issue make the case unsafe for further use? Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Duane Siercks offers some insight into various issues and their causes in two Case Diagnostic articles from the Sierra Blog.

Incipient Case-Head Separation
This is a Winchester .308 Win case that has a real issue. This case has a very obvious incipient case head separation in the process of becoming a complete failure.

Sierra Case reloading pressure safety inspection

This is most commonly caused by over-sizing the case causing there to be excess headspace on the case. After a few firings and subsequent re-sizing, this case is just about ready to come completely apart. Proper die adjustment is certainly a requirement here. Of course this case is not safe to reuse.

Excessive Pressure (Load Too Hot)
If you will notice in the picture of the case rim, there are two pressure signs to notice. First, look at the primer. It is basically flattened to about the max of what could be considered safe. If this was the only pressure sign noted, I would probably be fine with this load, but would constantly keep an eye on it especially if I was going to use this load in warmer temperatures. This load could easily cross into the “excess pressure” realm very quickly.

Sierra Case reloading pressure safety inspection

There is another sign of pressure that we cannot ignore. If you’ll notice, there is an ejector mark apparent that is located over the “R” of the R-P headstamp. This absolutely tells us that this load would not have been in the safe pressure range. If there were any of these rounds loaded, they should not be fired and should be dis-assembled. This case should not be reloaded.

Split Case-Neck
Here we have an R-P .22-250 case that has died the death. Everything looks fine with this case except the neck is split. This case must be tossed.

Sierra Case reloading pressure safety inspection

A split neck is a normal occurrence that you must watch for. It is caused by work-hardening of the brass. Brass cases get harder with age and use. Brand new cases that are stored for a period of time can become hard enough that they will split like this case within one to two firings. I have had new factory loads do the same thing. Then as we resize and fire these cases repeatedly, they tend to get harder and harder. Eventually they will split. The life of the case can be extended by careful annealing practices. This is an issue that would need to be addressed in an article by itself. Of course this case is no longer usable.

In the classes that I teach, I try to use examples like this to let the students see what they should be looking for. As always, if we can assist you, whether you are new to reloading or very experienced, contact us here at Sierra Bullets by phone at 1-800-223-8799 or by email at sierra@sierrabullets.com.

Dented Case Body
Here we have a Lake City 7.62×51 (.308 Win.) case with two heavy marks/dents in the case body.

Sierra Case reloading pressure safety inspection

This one may be a bit of a mystery. It appears as if this case may have been caught in the action of a semi-auto rifle when the firearm jammed or the case failed to clear during the cycling process. I probably would not reload this case just to prevent any feeding problems. This also appeared to be a factory loaded round and I don’t really see any pressure issues or damage to the case.

Multiple Problems — Lake City 5.56×45 unknown year.

Sierra Case reloading pressure safety inspection

This case has suffered multiple failures and cannot be re-used. First its has have a very rounded shoulder that is split. Upon first look it was obvious that this round had been a victim of excess pressure. The firearm (perhaps an AR?) was apparently not in full battery, or there was possibly a headspace issue also. While taking a closer look, the primer was very flat and the outside radius of the primer cup had been lost. High pressure! Then I also noticed that there was an ejector mark on the case rim. This is most certainly an incident of excessive pressure. This case is ruined and should be discarded.

CLICK HERE for MORE .223 Rem Case Examples in Sierra Blog

To see more examples, view both Part I and Part II of the Case Diagnostics from Sierra Bullets:

» Reloading 101: Case Diagnostics Part I
» Reloading 101: Case Diagnostics Part II

It is very important to observe and inspect your cases before each reloading. After awhile it becomes second nature to notice the little things. Never get complacent as you become more familiar with the reloading process. If ever in doubt, call Sierra’s Techs at 1-800-223-8799.

Sierra Bullets Case Diagnostics Blog

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September 23rd, 2020

Get Hodgdon and IMR Loads from Reloading Data Center

Hodgdon Reloading data Center hand loading powder

Hodgdon Reloading data Center hand loading powderLooking for a good load for a new rifle? Or perhaps you want to try a new powder and bullet combo for an existing rig. One of the best places to start for load data is Hodgdon’s online Reloading Data Center for pistol, rifle, and shotgun reloaders. Check out the Reloading Data Center at www.HodgdonReloading.com.

In the Data Center, you’ll find thousands of load recipes for pistol, rifle, and shotgun. Rifle shooters will find dozens of loads for their favorite Hodgdon, IMR, and Winchester powders such as H4198, H4895, Varget, H4350, and IMR 8208 XBR. And Hodgdon’s Reloading Center is “mobile-friendly” so it works well with smartphones and tables. Navigation is easy, and you can set the search criteria easily choosing your favorite powder or bullets. After choosing a cartridge, you can pre-select specific bullet weights and powder types. That quickly delivers just the information you want and need. You won’t have to scroll through scores of entries for bullets or powders you don’t use.

Hodgdon Reloading data Center hand loading powder

Mobile users will notice that the current Hodgdon Reloading Center is much more “user-friendly” for smart-phone and tablet users. Controls have been optimized for touch-screens, and buttons are large and easy to use. Likewise the results are displayed in a large, easy-to read format.

How to Get Started with Handloading

Getting started in Reloading? Ultimate Reloader offers a helpful introductory video that covers the basics. In addition, a recent Ultimate Reloader article reviews the types of reloading presses, plus the other gear you’ll need, from dies to powder dispensers.

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 1 Comment »
September 23rd, 2020

Casting Better Bullets — Recommended DVD and Print Resources

bullet casting video Sinclair

We’ve done some bullet casting in the past, both for handgun bullets, and the large, heavy (400gr+) projectiles used with Black Powder Cartridge Rifles. We can say, unequivocally, that newbies should seek out the assistance of a skilled, experienced mentor, who is familiar with the important safety procedures that must be employed. Working with molten lead can be dangerous. And it also takes some skill to get good results (without visible casting flaws), particularly with very large bullets.

There are valuable resources that can help you get started with the casting process. Wolfe Publishing offers two DVDs that cover the bullet casting process from start to finish. Bullet Casting 101 takes you through the basics: showing you how to choose the correct alloy for your application, prep molds, maintain the optimal temperatures, and lube and size bullets. The important steps are laid out clearly. In addition, Bullet Casting 101 helps you select the right equipment and preferred molds for your particular application. (To create uniform rifle bullets that shoot accurately, you really do need high-quality molds.)

Casting Bullets Handgun

Casting Bullets HandgunWolfe Publishing offers a companion DVD, Casting Premium Bullets for Handguns, that covers more advanced techniques for high-volume pistol bullet production. This DVD covers both single-cavity molds and multiple-cavity “gang” molds. (Gang molds can be frustrating at first; it is harder to maintain perfect temp control and mold separation is more complex). The DVD also reveals the sources of most common casting flaws, and explains how to detect cracks, voids and other common problems.

You’ll save considerable time and effort if you really understand how to avoid common mistakes before you start pouring lead. And you’ll get the best results if you learn how to “blend” the optimal alloy for the job. Maintaining the right mold temperature is also critical for good results. These topics and more are covered in these two DVDs, priced at $20.00 each on Amazon.

Good Books about Bullet Casting

Along with these DVDs, there are some excellent print resources about bullet casting. Here are two good bullet casting books we recommend. Every serious bullet caster should own Lyman’s Cast Bullet Handbook, now in its 4th Edition. We also like Casting Premium Bullets for the Black Powder Cartridge Rifle by Paul Matthews (Wolfe Publishing).

We used the Matthews book to improve our cast bullets for a Pedersoli 45/70. Notably, with factory-made cast bullets, that rifle shot about 3″ groups at 100 yards. With custom cast bullets, accuracy was nearly twice as good. We were also able to choose a custom mold that produced bullets with a much higher BC, which helped with long-range matches.

bullet casting video Sinclair

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September 23rd, 2020

Remembering John Nosler — Pioneer in Bullet Design

RIP John A. Nosler

John Nosler lived 97 years, passing in 2010. During his long lifetime, John was an iconic figure in the shooting and hunting world. Considered a true pioneer in bullet and ammunition design, Nosler developed the famous Partition bullet in the 1940s. Born on April 4, 1913 in Brawley, California, John built his business from scratch. He founded his bullet company in 1948. He was considered to be one of the great innovators whose designs helped create the premium bullet category and influenced ammunition manufacturers worldwide.

Moose-Hunt Inspires Partition Bullet Design
While hunting in Canada, John experienced a bullet failure on the hide of a mud-caked bull moose. He then began developing a revolutionary new projectile, which he called the “Partition”, because of the barrier that separated the bullet into two sections. One year later, John and a friend traveled back to British Columbia with his new Partition bullets, which were designed to provide deep penetration and expansion. The men bagged two moose with two shots, and the rest is history.

Nosler Partition Bullet John Nosler

NRA Golden Bullseye Pioneer Award
In recognition of his contribution to the shooting sports industry, John was the unanimous choice for the inaugural 2007 NRA Golden Bullseye Pioneer Award. The award was the highlight of a long and fruitful career. Even though he officially retired in 1988 when his son and daughter-in-law, Bob and Joan Nosler purchased the company, John still managed to come to the office on a daily basis until his health declined.

Today, John’s son Bob Nosler still presides over the company as president and CEO of Nosler, Inc., based in Bend, Oregon. Along with bullets, the company now produces cartridge brass, loaded ammunition, and hunting rifles.

To learn more about John Nosler and his bullet designs, get your hands on Going Ballistic, a “Professional Memoir” told by John Nosler to outdoor writer Gary Lewis. CLICK HERE to hear a short John Nosler audio clip or to order the book from the author.

John Nosler remained an avid hunter and shooter even late in life. Gary Lewis recalled that, at age 92, John Nosler attended the opening of a new shooting range outside Bend, Oregon. Even in his nineties, Nosler managed to drill two shots inside nine inches at 1000 yards. John Nosler leaves a legacy that will benefit hunters and shooters’ nationwide. The John A. Nosler Endowment of The NRA Foundation, sponsors the NRA’s Basic Rifle Training Program which instructs novices in safe rifle handling.

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September 21st, 2020

Bargain Finder 261: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

AccurateShooter Deals of the Week Weekly Bargain Finder Sale Discount Savings

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Sunday afternoon or Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. MidwayUSA — Hunting Gear — 29% to 56% Off

Thompson Center Compass II Rifle Vortex Scope
Get gear for your annual hunt while saving big

Hunting season is here. Grab those extra gear items you need before you head out into the backwoods on your hunt. At MidwayUSA you’ll find great hunting items at bargain prices right now. As shown above, here are some of our top hunting gear picks:

1. MidwayUSA Stealth 2.0 Softshell Camo Pants, starting at $30.96 (55% Off)
2. MidwayUSA Prairie Creek Softshell Camo Jacket, $37.13 (56% Off)
3. Stealth Cam BT-USA Trail Camera, $49.99 (44% Off)
4. Hawk Crawler Steel Game Cart, $119.99 (29% Off)

2. KYGUNCO — T/C Compass + Vortex Scope, $346.97 with rebate

Thompson Center Compass II Rifle Vortex Scope

Many popular std and magnum calibers, awesome deal includes Vortex scope

Hunters take heed — with this deal you can grab a new deer rifle, complete with mounted Vortex scope, for under $350.00! Kentucky Gun Company is offering Thompson Center (T/C) Compass bolt-action rifles in .223 Rem, .243 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor, 7mm Rem Magnu, .308 Win, .30-06 Sprg, or .300 Win Magnum for only $396.97 (cash/check). That’s a killer deal by itself, but these rifles now qualify for a Thompson Center $50 Rebate. That lowers your net cost to just $346.97!

3. Bullet Central — Berger Bullets in Stock

Berger bullets
Good prices on high-demand target bullets from Berger

With concerns over social disorder, reloading components have been harder to find. For you match shooters looking for quality bullets, head over to BulletCentral.com. There you’ll find a large selection of Berger target bullets in stock. Not only does Bullet Central has a large supply of Berger bullets, but the prices are about as low as you can find now. That’s a win-win.

4. Amazon — Vortex Diamondback HD Spotting Scope, $399.00

vortex diamondback HD spotting scope
Great Spotting Scope Deal — hard to beat at twice the price

Whether hunting or target shooting, spotting scopes get you on target faster and easier than bare eyes or riflescope. If you need a good HD-grade spotter, check out the Vortex Diamondback HD 16-48x65mm angled spotting scope for $399.00. It offers great clarity and rock-solid lifetime guarantee. Relatively compact and weighing 49.8 ounces, this is a good choice for a hunter. There’s also a straight version for $399.00, with same 16-48X power and 65mm objective. If you need more magnification and low-light performance, Vortex offers the 20-60x80mm Diamondback HD spotter for $499.00.

5. Natchez — Big Savings on Nikon Hunting and Tactical Scopes

Nikon Natchez discount scope refurbished sale
Incredible prices on a wide variety of FFP and SFP rifle scopes

Do you need a reliable scope with good controls and sharp glass, but you’re on a tight budget? Check out the Nikon scope sale at Natchez. You will find a wide variety of hunting and tactical scopes. Select the magnification level for your discipline. For PRS, you can save big on excellent FFP MRAD FX1000 scopes. There are also small AR scopes on sale. NOTE: Shown above are just three of the Nikon scopes on sale. There are dozens of other models and configurations discounted 30% to 60%, with 40% savings typical.

6. Midsouth — Norma .223 Remington Brass, $99.99 for 250

Nikon Natchez discount scope refurbished sale
Impressive deal on very high quality .223 Rem brass

After Lapua, Norma makes some of the best brass you can buy. And here’s a chance to get a big supply of .223 Rem brass for your High Power or varmint rifle. This 223 Remington brass has very tight tolerances, holds up well to multiple reloads. We have seen very good accuracy with this brass with both light and heavy .224-caliber bullets. The price — $99.99 for 250 cases, works out to $0.39 per case. You can pay up to $0.70 per case for some other premium .223 Rem brass.

7. CDNN Sports — Browning Bucks Summer Rebates: $25 to $100

lapua brass sale rebate
Take advantage of Browning Bucks Rebates up to $100

Browning makes excellent rifles, shotguns, and pistols. The Browning Buckmark is one of our favorite .22 LR rimfire pistol, and Browning Citori shotguns are renown for their build quality and performance. Right now CDNN Sports is discounting a wide selection of Browning Firearms. And now through the end of September 30, 2020, you can a Browning Bucks rebate — up to $100.00 on Citori shotguns. The rifle rebate is $50, while the pistol rebate is $25.00. Act soon before the rebate expires on 9/30/2020.

8. MidwayUSA — Pro Series Competition Shooting Mat, $32.99

Pro Series MidwayUSA shooting mat bipod tactical competition roll-up shoot mats
Very high quality mat for the price — big discount

The MidwayUSA Pro Series Competition Shooting Mat is now on sale for just $32.99, 40% off the basic price. The Pro Series mat measures a full 73.5″ x 35.5″. Zippered pockets on the front flap hold ammo or log books. And there are webbing “pockets” for bipod feet so you can pre-load your bipod with forward pressure. This quality mat boasts 0.35″ thick padding, multiple pockets, 6 grommets for staking, and a nice carry strap. It’s easy to transport, rolling up to about nine inches in diameter. User reviews of this $32.99 Shooting Mat have been very positive.

9. Grafs.com — Peregrine MAGnet Gun Caddy, $5.99

MAGnet gun caddy magnetic gun holder foam

Here’s a handy low cost item that can hold your rifle vertically on any steel surface. This works great on gun safes (outside or inside), and the MAGNet Gun Caddy can be used on vehicles too. The patented design makes it possible to secure and remove your gun from the holder with just one hand. The $5.99 MAGnet Gun Caddy is modular so you can arrange multiple units at whatever height works best. If your safe interior is carpet-lined, use the supplied Velcro to hold the MAGnet caddy in place.

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September 21st, 2020

For Smoother Bullet Seating — The Dry Lube Option

Forster original caseneck case neck brass dry mica lube lubricator system

If you want smoother bullet seating, inside neck lube can help. Forum member Ackleyman II likes to add a little Mica powder inside his case necks before seating bullets. This is easily done with the Forster three-brush neck lube kit. Ackleyman tells us: “Many loads that I have will not shoot well with a dry neck compared to a neck that is cleaned and lubed with this [Forster Dry Lubricator] — the best $15 you have ever spent.”

The Forster Case Neck Lubricator features three brushes attached to a tough, impact-resistant case with holes for bench mounting. The brushes accommodate all calibers from 22 to 35 caliber. The kit includes enough “motor mica” to process 2000 to 3000 cases and has a cover to keep dust and grit from contaminating the mica. By moving the case neck up and down on the correct mica-covered brush, the neck can be cleaned and lubricated at the same time.

Function: Lubricate case necks for easier resizing
Contents: Kit with base, lid, and three nylon brushes
Lubricant: Includes 1/10 oz. of Motor Mica, enough to process 2000-3000 cases

Neck Lubrication After Ultrasonic Cleaning
If you wet-tumble your cases with stainless media and solvents or ultrasonically clean your brass, you may find that the inside of the case necks get too “squeaky clean”. The inside surface of the neck looses lubricity. In this situation, applying a dry lube can definitely be beneficial. CLICK HERE to see story about ultrasonic cleaning.

Ultrasonic Brass Cleaning

ultrasonic brass cleaning neck lubricant moly dry lube

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September 20th, 2020

BLAZING AMMO — The Great SAAMI Ammo Fire Test

With the big fires happening on the West Coast, many have wondered about hazards faced by gun owners in fire zones. This important video shows what really happens when loaded ammunition burns. You will probably be surprised. Contrary to Hollywood notions, the ammo doesn’t ignite in a massive explosion. Far from it… basically the rounds “cook off” one by one, and the bullets release at relatively low velocity. We’ve featured this SAAMI research project before, but it is worth reprising for those who have not yet seen the burn tests.

A few years back, SAAMI released an important video concerning ammo and fire. With professional fire-fighters standing by, over 400,000 rounds of ammo were incinerated in a series of eye-opening tests. If you haven’t had the chance to view this video yet, you should take the time to watch it now

The Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute (SAAMI) has produced an amazing 25-minute video that shows what actually happens to sporting ammunition involved in a fire. This video shows the results of serious tests conducted with the assistance of professional fire crews. We strongly recommend you watch this video, all the way through. It dispels many myths, while demonstrating what really happens when ammunition is burned, dropped, or crushed.

Watch SAAMI Ammunition Testing Video

Video Timeline

  • 2:10 Impact Test (ignited outside firearm)
  • 3:40 65-foot Drop Test
  • 5:08 Bullet Impact (.308 Win firing)
  • 7:55 Blasting Cap Attacks
  • 9:55 Bulldozer and Forklift Tests
  • 12:20 Boxed Ammo Bonfire
  • 15:37 Bonfire without Packaging
  • 17:21 Retail Store Simulation Burn
  • 20:55 Truck Trailer Burn

Over 400,000 rounds of ammunition were used in the tests. Some of the footage is quite remarkable. Testers built a bonfire with 28,000 rounds of boxed ammo soaked in diesel fuel. Then the testers loaded five pallets of ammo (250,000 rounds) in the back of a semi-truck, and torched it all using wood and paper fire-starting materials doused with diesel fuel.

The video shows that, when ammo boxes are set on fire, and ammunition does discharge, the bullet normally exits at low speed and low pressure. SAAMI states: “Smokeless powders must be confined to propel a projectile at high velocity. When not in a firearm, projectile velocities are extremely low.” At distances of 10 meters, bullets launched from “cooked-off” ammo would not penetrate the normal “turn-out gear” worn by fire-fighters.

We are not suggesting you disregard the risks of ammo “cooking off” in a fire, but you will learn the realities of the situation by watching the video. There are some amazing demonstrations — including a simulated retail store fire with 115,000 rounds of ammo in boxes. As cartridges cook off, it sounds like a battery of machine-guns, but projectiles did not penetrate the “store” walls, or even two layers of sheet-rock. The fire crew puts out the “store fire” easily in under 20 seconds, just using water.

Additional Testing: Drop Test, Projectile Test, Crush Test, Blasting Cap Test

Drop Test
The video also offers interesting ammo-handling tests. Boxes of ammo were dropped from a height of 65 feet. Only a tiny fraction of the cartridges discharged, and there was no chain-fire. SAAMI concludes: “When dropped from extreme heights (65 feet), sporting ammunition is unlikely to ignite. If a cartridge ignites, it does not propagate.”

Rifle Fire Test
SAAMI’s testers even tried to blow up boxes of ammunition with rifle fire. Boxes of loaded ammo were shot with .308 Win rounds from 65 yards. The video includes fascinating slow-motion footage showing rounds penetrating boxes of rifle cartridges, pistol ammo, and shotgun shells. Individual cartridges that were penetrated were destroyed, but adjacent cartridges suffered little damage, other than some powder leakage. SAAMI observed: “Most of the ammunition did not ignite. When a cartridge did ignite, there was no chain reaction.”

Bulldozer Crush Test
The test team also did an amazing “crush-test” using a Bulldozer. First boxes of loaded ammo, then loose piles of ammo, were crushed under the treads of a Bulldozer. A handful of rounds fired off, but again there was no chain-fire, and no large explosion. SAAMI observed: “Even in the most extreme conditions of compression and friction, sporting ammunition is unlikely to ignite. [If it does ignite when crushed] it does not propagate.”

Blasting Cap Test
Perhaps most amazingly, the testers were not able to get ammunition to chain-fire (detonate all at once), even when using blasting caps affixed directly to live primers. In the SAAMI test, a blasting cap was placed on the primer of a round housed in a large box of ammo. One cartridge ignited but the rest of the boxed ammo was relatively undamaged and there was no propagation.

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September 16th, 2020

Lyman Offers Updated Reloading Manual for AR-Platform Rifles

AR ar15 ar10 reload reloading data handbook book volume second 2d 2nd edition amazon lyman

Lyman has just released an expanded, updated Second Edition of its AR Reloading Handbook. The original handbook was the first reloading manual dedicated exclusively to the most popular semi-auto rifle in the USA. The Second Edition of this comprehensive Lyman AR Reloading Handbook has been updated to include more cartridge types and significantly more load data. This provides AR shooters with reloading info for the vast majority of popular chamberings used in AR-platform firearms. GET BOOK HERE.

Reloaders will appreciate the extensive pressure-tested data covering a very wide selection of bullet types and powder types. The Second Edition provided data for newer cartridges such as the .224 Valkyrie, .22 Nosler, .24 Nosler, 350 Legend, as well as sub-sonic data. In addition, articles by well-known authorities are included, covering topics such as “Building An AR” and “AR15 Gas System Lengths”. This book is available right now direct from Lyman and will soon be avialable through Amazon.

Features of Lyman AR Reloading Handbook (Second Edition)
— Reloading data for popular AR-platform cartridge types, including the .223 Rem, .224 Valkyrie, 6.8 Rem, .300 AAC, 7.62×39, 350 Legend, 450 Bushmaster, .50 Beowulf and more.
— Many informative articles on specialty topics such as Reloading for Suppressors and Building ARs.
— Load Data covers all major brands of bullets and powders.
— Load Data for cast bullet data and sub-sonic loads.

AR ar15 ar10 reload reloading data handbook book volume second 2d 2nd edition amazon lyman

AR-Platform Insights — Operation and Maintenance Tips
Here are two helpful videos for AR owners. The first uses 3D computer animation to show how AR-platform rifles work — from the inside. The Cutaway views show the operation of the gas system and bolt while cycling. The second video, by legendary competitive shooter Jerry Miculek, provide helpful guidance on AR disassembly and maintenance.

Book publishing tip from EdLongRange. We welcome reader submissions.
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September 15th, 2020

Great Book: Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting II

Bryan Litz Applied Ballistics Modern Advancements Volume 2 II testing pre-order

If you buy one book about Long Range Shooting, this should be it. Based on sophisticated testing and research, this 356-page hardcover from Applied Ballistics offers important insights you won’t find anywhere else. Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting – Volume II, the latest treatise from Bryan Litz, is chock full of information, much of it derived through sophisticated field testing. As Chief Ballistician for Berger Bullets (and a trained rocket scientist), author Bryan Litz is uniquely qualified. Bryan is also an ace sling shooter and a past F-TR National Champion. Moreover, Bryan’s company, Applied Ballistics, has been a leader in the Extreme Long Range (ELR) discipline.

AUDIO FILE: Bryan Litz Talks about Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting, Volume 2. (Sound file loads when you click button).

Volume II of Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting ($39.95) contains all-new content derived from research by Applied Ballistics. Author Bryan Litz along with contributing authors Nick Vitalbo and Cal Zant use the scientific method and careful testing to answer important questions faced by long range shooters. In particular, this volume explores the subject of bullet dispersion including group convergence. Advanced hand-loading subjects are covered such as: bullet pointing and trimming, powder measurement, flash hole deburring, neck tension, and fill ratio. Each topic is explored with extensive live fire testing, and the resulting information helps to guide hand loaders in a deliberate path to success. The current bullet library of measured G1 and G7 ballistic coefficients is included as an appendix. This library currently has data on 533 bullets in common use by long range shooters.

Bryan tells us that one purpose of this book is to dispel myths and correct commonly-held misconceptions: “Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting aims to end the misinformation which is so prevalent in long range shooting. By applying the scientific method and taking a Myth Buster approach, the state of the art is advanced….”

Bullet Dispersion and Group Convergence
Bryan Litz Applied Ballistics Modern Advancements Volume 2 II testing pre-order

Part 1 of this Volume is focused on the details of rifle bullet dispersion. Chapter 1 builds a discussion of dispersion and precision that every shooter will benefit from in terms of understanding how it impacts their particular shooting application. How many shots should you shoot in a group? What kind of 5-shot 100 yard groups correlate to average or winning precision levels in 1000 yard F-Class shooting?

Chapter 2 presents a very detailed investigation of the mysterious concept of group convergence, which is the common idea that some guns can shoot smaller (MOA) groups at longer ranges. This concept is thoroughly tested with extensive live fire, and the results answer a very important question that has baffled shooters for many generations.

Bryan Litz Applied Ballistics Modern Advancements Volume 2 II testing pre-orderPart 2 of this Volume is focused on various aspects of advanced hand-loading. Modern Advancements (Vol. II) employs live fire testing to answer the important questions that precision hand loaders are asking. What are the best ways to achieve MVs with low ES and SD? Do flash hole deburring, neck tension, primer selection, and fill ratio and powder scales sensitivity make a difference and how much? All of these questions are explored in detail with a clear explanation of test results.

One of the important chapters of Part 2 examines bullet pointing and trimming. Applied Ballistics tested 39 different bullet types from .224 through .338 caliber. Ten samples of each bullet were tested for BC in each of the following configurations: original out of the box, pointed, trimmed, pointed and trimmed. The effect on the average BC as well as the uniformity in BC was measured and tabulated, revealing what works best.

Part 3 covers a variety of general research topics. Contributing author Nick Vitalbo, a laser technology expert, tested 22 different laser rangefinders. Nick’s material on rangefinder performance is a landmark piece of work. Nick shows how shooters can determine the performance of a rangefinder under various lighting conditions, target sizes, and reflectivities.

Chapter 9 is a thorough analysis of rimfire ammunition. Ballistic Performance of Rifle Bullets, 2nd Edition presented live fire data on 95 different types of .22 rimfire ammunition, each tested in five different barrels having various lengths and twist rates. Where that book just presented the data, Chapter 9 of this book offers detailed analysis of all the test results and shows what properties of rimfire ammunition are favorable, and how the BCs, muzzle velocities and consistency of the ammo are affected by the different barrels.

Chapter 10 is a discussion of aerodynamic drag as it relates to ballistic trajectory modeling. You will learn from the ground up: what an aerodynamic drag model is, how it’s measure and used to predict trajectories. Analysis is presented which shows how the best trajectory models compare to actual measured drop in the real world.

Finally, contributing author Cal Zant of the Precision Rifle Blog presents a study of modern carbon fiber-wrapped barrels in Chapter 11. The science and technology of these modern rifle barrels is discussed, and then everything from point of impact shift to group sizes are compared for several samples of each type of barrel including standard steel barrels.

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September 14th, 2020

Bargain Finder 260: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

AccurateShooter Deals of the Week Weekly Bargain Finder Sale Discount Savings

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Sunday afternoon or Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. MidwayUSA — Vortex Viper Scope Scale, under $300

vortex riflescope scope optics Viper sale 30% off
Huge discounts on Vortex Vipers with lifetime warranty

Need a scope for that hunting rifle or varmint rig? Here are two great deals on quality Vortex Viper scopes. For a deer rifle choose the 2.5-10x44mm Viper HS scope priced at just $249.99 — a 39% savings. This scope weighs just 16.5 ounces — that’s important on a hunting rig you’ll carry all day long. For varminting duties, where you need more magnification, there’s a 6.5-20x44mm Vortex Viper on sale for just $299.99, that’s 30% off. Either way you get a good scope with superb Vortex lifetime warranty for under $300.00.

2. Bullet Central — Berger Bullets in Stock

Berger bullets
Good prices on high-demand target bullets from Berger

With concerns over social disorder, reloading components have been harder to find. For you match shooters looking for quality bullets, head over to BulletCentral.com. There you’ll find a large selection of Berger target bullets in stock. Not only does Bullet Central has a large supply of Berger bullets, but the prices are about as low as you can find now. That’s a win-win.

3. Sportsman’s Warehouse — Winchester SXP Shotgun, $354.99

winchester sxp shotgun sale
Exceptional value in game shotgun 12ga or 20ga

Who doesn’t love a good waterfowl hunt? It’s a great outdoor escape that can put food on the table. Right now Sportsman’s Warehouse is offering a quality waterfowl shotgun at a great price. The Winchester SXP Waterfowl Hybrid Hunter in 12ga or 20ga is on sale now for just $354.99. These well-made, 3-1/2″-shell-capable shotguns feature an ultra-tough Mossy Oak and Permacote protective finish.

4. Midsouth Shooters — Lyman WiFi Borecam PRO, $247.69

lyman borecam pro
Wireless photos and videos, good controls, USB Charging

In the quest for better borescope performance, manufacturers are improving their electro-optics offerings. At the forefront is Lyman, the company that pioneered the affordable, digital borecam. Lyman has released its new Borecam PRO 24″ wireless borescope. This boasts wireless WiFi operation, 720P resolution for sharp images, and adjustable light intensity. The BoreCam Pro has a 24″ long rod that will fit all .20 caliber and larger-diameter barrels. The Borecam PRO takes photos and video with the push of a button and has easy to use Apps for iOS and Android mobile devices.

5. Amazon — WIREGEAR Gunsmith Punch Set, $39.99

wiregear gunsmith punch block sale
Versatile punch set performs multiple gun tasks

When working on firearms and removing or assembling component, you definitely need a good set of precision punches to keep from damaging anything. We found this great WIREGEAR Gunsmith Punch Set that even comes with a punch block too. With this punch set you can feel confident that you can remove any pin without harming your finish or damaging holes.

6. Palmetto State Armory — Taurus G2c 9mm Pistol, $299.99

Carry pistol $185 bargain Taurus G2C ccw handgun review discount sales
Good CCW 9mm carry pistol for under $300.00

Right now compact 9mm carry guns are in very high demand. Many gun vendors have limited inventory and have raised prices. Here’s a good little compact carry gun at an attractive price — half what you might pay for a 9mm Glock 19 these days. Palmetto State Armory has the black-on-black Taurus 9mm G2c for just $184.99. This affordable 9mm handgun is a true compact, 6.25″ OAL, and weighing just 21.2 oz. unloaded. Despite its small size, the G2c has a 12-round magazine. We like the fact it has a left-side manual safety (unlike the Glock).

7. Graf & Sons — MTM Promotion FREE Patch Catcher

mtm sale promotion
Buy $40 of handy MTM containers, get FREE Patch-Catcher

Right now, if you buy at least $40 of MTM products at Grafs.com you can get a FREE MTM Patch Catcher or Hat. The patch catcher is great and allows you to keep all your soiled patches off your bench or table and easily throw them away. Trust us, you’ll find it easy to get your money’s worth for the $40 purchase — MTM makes high quality ammo carriers, range boxes (with cleaning cradles), pistol storage boxes, ammo crates, cleaning rod carriers, bore guides, and compact rests. We use and recommend MTM range boxes and MTM ammo carriers.

8. Amazon — Benchmaster Weapon Block Gun Rest, $19.59

weapon block
weapon block
Inexpensive, ultra-lightweight gun support — good for sight-in or ARs

If you’re tired of carrying heavy sandbags to rest your guns, consider a new alternative. The BenchMaster Weapon Rack XBlock Gun Rest costs less than $20 and weighs just 7.1 ounces! Sized 8″ x 6″ x 4″, it can be used in multiple ways to support your firearms. Made from lightweight, high-density foam, this rest is impervious to moisture and mildew. This XBlock is a good inexpensive option for sighting in a deer rifle before your annual hunt. Or keep an XBlock behind your truck seat as an “anytime” rest. BenchMaster also makes an adjustable 3-section Bench Block Gun Rest ($27.99) that works well with ARs.

9. Amazon — Hornady One Shot, $9.99

hornady one shot
Dry-Film Lube — not sticky, easy to apply, used by top shooters

If you’re looking for a mess-free way to lube cases before sizing give Hornady One Shot a try. Get 7 oz. can for $9.99, or 14 oz. can for $13.99. It’s easy to apply and leaves a grease-free, friction-reducing film that works great for full-length case sizing. Here’s a good video that shows application methods with tips to ensure great results with your brass.

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September 13th, 2020

Sunday GunDay: Home-Built 7.62×25 Tokarev Custom Rifle

rifle tokarev 7.62x25 pistol cartridge varmint rifle custom

rifle tokarev 7.62x25 pistol cartridge varmint rifle customHere’s something you’ve never seen before — a full-size rifle chambered for the tiny 7.62×25 Tokarev round. This rifle was a fun project by Les E., aka “scasa” in our AccurateShooter Forum. This is a true “home-built” rifle. Les machined the action himself (receiver AND bolt), chambered the barrel, and crafted the stock from a blank. You’ll find complete build details (with machining photos) in this Forum Thread.

Why did Les build this unique rifle? He tells us: “I just thought it would make a nice little rifle cartridge with light bullets and subsonic with heavier ones. D.J. Jones had something similar as the ‘Mini Whisper’.”

Les designed and built the action and bolt to fit the tiny 7.62×25 Tokarev cartridge. He told us: “Once upon a time I got this idea to make a bolt action with front locking lugs, full diameter bolt, Remington trigger. It took me years to get it all figured out and make all the tooling, then it took about six months to build the gun”. The rifle features a 1:10″-twist Adams & Bennett barrel that Les chambered himself.

rifle tokarev 7.62x25 pistol cartridge varmint rifle custom

Les designed and crafted the receiver and bolt assembly himself. The bolt features an extractor but not an ejector — the empty case stays on the end of the bolt. The extractor slot cuts through one lug, but Les says it still has 10 times the required strength.

rifle tokarev 7.62x25 pistol cartridge varmint rifle custom

Details of Action Design and Machining
Les explained: “The action started as a piece of 4160 bar stock. I drilled and reamed all the holes in my 12×36 Craftsman lathe. Cutting the slot inside for the locking lugs to pass through was the most difficult part. There were no blueprints for this and just a couple of sketches to get the slots right for the bolt handle slot and extraction cams. Everything is design on the fly. I used a grade 8 bolt for the bolt which did not require any hardening, they’re pretty hard already. Although I did make several receivers before I got it figured out, I only made one bolt.”

Surprisingly, Les is not a machinist by trade. He is just a very smart guy who learned by doing: “I’ve never had any machinist training. I mostly learned by trying different things until I found what works.”

NOTE: Under Federal law, it is legal to build an action or complete rifle for personal use (not for resale). Refer to ATF Regulations.

rifle tokarev 7.62x25 pistol cartridge varmint rifle custom

As you might expect, this cartridge is naturally pretty quiet. Les says it “makes less noise than a .17 HMR”. Recoil is also minimal. In a 9-lb rifle (with scope), shooting free recoil, the rifle moves only about three inches. Considering this is a tiny pistol cartridge, the accuracy is pretty good, as you can see:

rifle tokarev 7.62x25 pistol cartridge varmint rifle custom

Loading for the 7.62×25 Tokarev in a Rifle

rifle tokarev 7.62x25 pistol cartridge varmint rifle customThe cartridge brass comes from Sellier & Bellot pistol ammo. Les currently loads with AA #7 and AA #9 powders, but he may try some others. His favorite load so far has Hornady 168gr A-Max bullets pushed by AA #9 powder and CCI 400 primers. This produced a 0.437″ group at 50 yards.

How does Les like the cartridge? He says: “I wish the 7.62×25 had a longer neck. At 0.140″ it’s pretty short. I think a longer neck would help getting things lined up better.” He notes that boat-tail bullets seem to load easier than flat-base projectiles.

Ammo is loaded with inexpensive Lee dies: “I’m using Lee dies and they seem to work OK. I’d like a better seater die and I may modify this one.”

rifle tokarev 7.62x25 pistol cartridge varmint rifle custom

Les reports: “The 168gr Berger moly LTB didn’t do as well as the 168gr A-Max so I started working with the A-Max. I’m loaded really long and the Tokarev evidently has a pretty long freebore but I managed to get it into the lands. The target photo above is the best this gun has ever shot. I’ve gotten mostly two-inch groups at 50 yards (my max home range distance). Recently I made some progress. My best group was a little less than 1/2 inch at 50 yards.”

Special Features of the Stock

rifle tokarev 7.62x25 pistol cartridge varmint rifle custom

Les built the stock himself from a laminated blank. For this project, Les added some interesting features to the stock. He created his own adjustable cheekpiece using all home-crafted hardware.

rifle tokarev 7.62x25 pistol cartridge varmint rifle custom

Les also fitted a barrel tension adjustment system in the stock to help tune the barrel harmonics. There is a hex-head machine screw in the bottom of the stock for adjusting the upward tension on the barrel.

rifle tokarev 7.62x25 pistol cartridge varmint rifle custom

Les crafted this stock with a thumbhole pattern with finger grooves. He has used this design on other stocks he has built as he likes the look and “feel”.

rifle tokarev 7.62x25 pistol cartridge varmint rifle custom

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September 13th, 2020

Neck-Turning Brass with Milling Machine — High-Speed Solution

cartridge brass neck turn neck-turning milling machine Erik Cortina

Here’s the super-speedy way to turn case-necks. Our friend Erik Cortina figured out how to turn his match cartridge case-necks using his milling machine. Erik told us: “While in Raton [a while back], Mid Tompkins told me that he turns his brass on milling machine. He said he could do about 500 in two hours, so I decided to try it.”

Erik fitted a Don Nielson “Pumpkin” neck-turner to the mill, and he used a modified 21st Century case holder to secure the brass. As you can see from this video, Erik was very successful with the process. The tool spins at 1500 rpm, turning Lapua 6.5-284 cases that have been necked up to 7mm.

Video Shows Eric Cortina Neck-Turning Cases with Milling Machine:

Cartridge Brass: Lapua 6.5-284 necked up to 7mm
Lubricant: Lithium grease inside and outside of neck
Neck-Turner: Nielson Pumpkin running at 1500 RPM

It’s hard to argue with Erik’s results. Here are his turned Lapua cases, which have neck-wall thickness consistent to two ten-thousandths of an inch. Think you could do better turning manually?

cartridge brass neck turn neck-turning milling machine Erik Cortina

Some of Erik’s Facebook friends had questions about this process:

Q: Who makes the shell-holder?

Erik Cortina: I did! The shell-holder you can get from 21st Century. I Tig-welded a punch as a handle.

Q: I love the idea of working smarter not harder! Any galling issues? What are your mitigation techniques?

Erik Cortina: No issues. I use lithium grease in spray can. Makes a foam that I dip necks into.

Q: Shouldn’t either the case or the cutter be floating to allow most precise neck turning?

Erik Cortina: Up until [I tried this] I believed the same thing. I was going to build a floating case holder but decided to try rigid setup on a few cases before I built it. Results were great. Neck thickness doesn’t vary more than .0002″, which is same as when I was doing it with floating case holder on the lathe.

Q: Any problems with the Pumpkin changing the cut as it heats up?

Erik Cortina: No — there were no issues with that.

NOTE: Erik Cortina is a very skilled machinist who custom-crafted fittings used for this process. This kind of neck-turning with a milling machine may not be for the everyday hand-loader!

cartridge brass neck turn neck-turning milling machine Erik Cortina

Nielson “Pumpkin” Neck-Turner

The circular orange cutting fixture on Erik’s Milling Machine is a Don Nielson “Pumpkin” neck-turning tool. Don designed this tool to be used by hand or with power. The Pumpkin boasts an eccentric mandrel that allows the cut to be adjusted easily in precise .0001″ increments. Benchresters like this as it allows for very precise control of cut depth and neck-wall thickness.

cartridge brass neck turn neck-turning milling machine Erik Cortina
Nielson Neck Turner with carbide mandrel. Photo Courtesy Butch’s Reloading.

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September 11th, 2020

Lyman Bleacher Blocks — Tiered Design Has Many Advantages

Lyman Bleacher Block stepped cartridge holder

Here’s an inexpensive product that can make your case prep and loading tasks easier. We use and recommend the cleverly-designed Lyman Bleacher Blocks. These multi-level (stepped) cartridge holders save space on your bench AND make it easier to select a particular case/cartridge from a full block. Each row is a different height for convenience. With Bleacher Blocks it’s also easier to check for powder levels, or place bullets before the seating process.

Lyman’s Bleacher Block cartridge holders have many advantages over conventional, single-level blocks. Use the different levels for sorting brass. Or, migrate the brass from top to bottom as you proceed through case prep stages. If you are assembling loads with different bullets for load testing, you could arrange the loaded rounds on different levels for easy recognition. For example put V-Max loaded rounds on the top tier, and Berger Hybrid loaded rounds on the bottom tier. Or, if you are experimenting with neck tension, you can use different rows for cases processed with different bushings.

Made of durable orange polymer, Lyman Bleacher Blocks are molded in three sizes. The smallest size (with 0.388″-diam holes) fits .223 Rem-size case heads. The middle size (with 0.485″-diam holes) fits .308 Win-size case heads. That works for 6mmBR/Dasher sized cases perfectly. The biggest Bleacher Block has 0.565″-diameter recesses for magnum-size cases. All three cartridge block sizes hold fifty (50) rounds. Purchase any size for just $6.14 per Block at Midsouth.

Lyman Bleacher Block stepped cartridge holder

Here’s what Lyman says about its innovative cartridge block design: “Our [stepped] loading blocks allow for easier handling of cases in and out of the loading block. Our stepped design allows you to easily grip a single case without jamming your fingers down into a group of cases like in traditional loading blocks, and allows for a smaller ‘footprint’ on your bench.”

Lyman Bleacher Blocks are among the Reloading Tools reviewed in this helpful video:

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September 10th, 2020

Cartridge Comparions from Brownells Video Vault

Brownells video archive youtube channel AR15 6.5 Creedmoor Grendel SPC .308 Winchester 7.62x51

Brownells is a well-known retailer of guns, gun parts, tools, accessories, ammo, and pretty much everything gun related. Brownells has a very active video production department that releases new “how-to” and product information videos every week. These videos offer helpful advice on gun cleaning/maintenance, reloading, as well as selecting/assembling components for various kinds of rifles. There now over 1000 videos on the Brownells YouTube Channel, this really is a remarkable resource.

One of our favorite regular Brownells video features are the Quick Tip Cartridge Comparisons. Brownells tech staffers look at a pair of cartridge types and reveal the noteworthy differences. Here are three recent Cartridge Comparison videos from Brownells.

1. 6.5 Creedmoor vs. .260 Remington

Brownells Gun Tech Caleb Savant compares and contrasts the 6.5 Creedmoor rifle cartridge with the older .260 Remington. Both cartridges are often loaded to nearly the same overall length (OAL), but with more of the bullet inside the neck for the .260 Rem. The .260 Remington is basically a .308 Winchester necked down to 6.5mm (.264″). The 6.5 Creedmoor has a shorter case, with a more modern 30-degree shoulder angle. With the same cartridge OAL, that can make it possible to load longer-ogive, higher-BC bullets. However, with a long-freebore chamber, the .260 Rem can certainly run any high-BC 6.5mm bullet made.

The .260 Remington can, theoretically, generate a bit more velocity at the muzzle because its longer case holds a bit more powder. However, with high-quality Lapua brass, in the real world, the 6.5 Creedmoor comes pretty darn close to .260 Rem performance with any given bullet weight. Moreover, the 6.5 Creedmoor is available with small primer pocket brass from Lapua. This brass may give a higher number of reloading cycles before case-head expansion becomes a problem. For the hunter, both choices are good, but the older .260 Rem may feed a bit better from a magazine, given the .260’s case taper and longer body. Overall, we favor the 6.5 Creedmoor for its versatility and efficiency, but the .260 Rem is a good cartridge too.

2. 6.8 SPC vs. 6.5 Grendel

Brownells Gun Tech Caleb Savant compares two medium-caliber cartridges that can work in AR15-platform rifles: the 6.5 Grendel and the 6.8 SPC (aka 6.8mm Remington “Special Purpose Cartridge”). The 6.5 Grendel is typically loaded with a high-BC .264″ bullet, while the 6.8 SPC has a larger-diameter .277″ bullet. Both have the same 2.26″ OAL as the AR-15’s standard .223 Remington / 5.56 NATO round. The big difference is the 6.5 Grendel’s faster velocity and flatter trajectory. With the same bullet weight, Brownells says the 6.5 Grendel will be about 100 fps faster than the 6.8 SPC. Given a 100-yard zero, the 6.5 Grendel will drop about 8.5″ at 300 yards, while the 6.8 SPC will drop 10.5″ at the same range. The 6.5 Grendel is probably a better choice for long-range targets, at least when loaded with a higher-BC bullet. A big difference is brass. You can get superb Lapua brass for the 6.5 Grendel. Not so for the 6.8 SPC, which really has never developed into a widely popular accuracy round.

3. 7.62×51 NATO vs. .308 Winchester (Subtle differences)

Brownells Technician Caleb Savant talks about the .308 Winchester and 7.62x51mm NATO. Most shooters know that both rounds have the same external dimensions. In fact, the military 7.62×51 was developed from the civilian .308 Winchester. So… can they be used interchangeably? The 7.62×51 cartridge normally can be fired from any rifle chambered in .308 Winchester because the 7.62 is spec’d for a lower pressure than SAAMI max in the .308 Win. However, we have encountered some British and Austrian 7.62×51 NATO milsurp ammo that was VERY hot — more than a typical commercial .308 Win Load. Accordingly you should always be careful when shooting new 7.62×51 ammo in your rifles. Likewise you should be careful about shooting higher-pressure .308 Win in some 7.62 NATO rifles. The 7.62×51 NATO chamber is slightly longer, and the cartridge’s case is typically a bit thicker, so it will “flow” and expand into the extra space. NOTE: Some newer rifles with 7.62×51 NATO chambers ARE made to handle .308 Win ammo. Check the owner’s manual or contact your rifle’s manufacturer to find out for sure.

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September 9th, 2020

Democratic Bills Require Federal License to Possess Guns and Ammo, along with Bureaucratic “Determination of Suitability”

Biden Gun Control Democrats Legisation
Shown is text from H.R.5717 and S.3254 mandating Federal firearms licensing.

Make no mistake about it — leaders of the Democratic party want to dismantle the Second Amendment and impose devastating new restrictions on gun owners. Companion Bills currently in Congress will require a Federal License to own ANY Firearms. The first line of the identical bills, H.R.5717 and S.3254, mandates a federal license for any American to legally “purchase, acquire, or possess a firearm or ammunition”. Yes you can’t even own ammo without a Federal license. Morever, to obtain such a license, citizens can be subject to psychological/character exams so that bureaucrats can “make a determination of suitability”. Such requirements effectively destroy the Second Amendment. Imagine if you had to obtain a license to vote, or pass a psychological “determination of suitability” before you could attend your church.

These companion bills, which have been endorsed by Joe Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris, represent the greatest legislative threat to the gun rights in the history of the country. Biden himself has called for the banning of AR15s and other modern sporting rifles, while Harris has advocated the use of Executive Action to confiscate semi-auto rifles (as was done recently in Canada).

Biden Gun Control

The Jews for the Protection of Firearms Ownership (JPFO.org) have analyzed these companion bills in Congress. The JPFO states that this legislation’s “character [and] suitability” requirements for licensing would effectively eliminate the Second Amendment: “The Bill of Rights’ ban on infringement would be ignored… Unelected bureaucrats will literally choose who can bear arms [and] all existing arms in private hands will be subject to confiscation.”

The Democratic-sponsored gun control legislation, H.R.5717 and S.3254 will require current and future gun owners to pass psychology and character tests to continue owning the firearms they already legally possess. When asked, legal experts have been unable to describe how this could be applied fairly and predictably. America has an estimated 100 million gun owners. That number has grown dramatically in 2020 because of citizens’ fears over large scale rioting and intimidation by BLM and Antifa, and the demands by Democrats to “defund the police”.

The first line of the identical bills, HR5717 and S3254, requires a federal license for any American to legally “purchase, acquire, or possess a firearm or ammunition”. This is de facto infringement.

To obtain this license you would need to prove to unelected officials that you are of “sound mind and character”, you do not “potentially create a risk to public safety”, and you meet “any other requirements the State determines relevant”. Authorities, “make a determination of suitability”, for your possession and ownership of firearms, including any you currently own.

How bad are the Democratic-sponsored gun bills? Read this summary of Senate Bill 3254, sponsored by Elizabeth Warren. The provisions of companion House Bill H.R.5717 are identical.

Senate Bill 3254 Official Summary of Provisions
Gun Violence Prevention and Community Safety Act of 2020
This bill makes various changes to the federal framework governing the sale, transfer, and possession of firearms and ammunition. Among other things, the bill does the following:

— Requires individuals to obtain a license to purchase, acquire, or possess a firearm or ammunition;
— Raises the minimum age — from 18 years to 21 years — to purchase firearms and ammunition;
— Establishes new background check requirements for firearm transfers between private parties;
— Requires law enforcement agencies to be notified following a firearms-related background check that results in a denial;
— Creates a statutory process for a family or household member to petition a court for an extreme risk protection order to remove firearms from an individual who poses a risk of committing violence;
— Restricts the import, sale, manufacture, transfer, or possession of semi-automatic assault weapons and large capacity ammunition feeding devices;
— Restricts the manufacture, sale, transfer, purchase, or receipt of ghost guns (i.e., guns without serial numbers);
— Makes trafficking in firearms a stand-alone criminal offense;
— Requires federally licensed gun dealers to submit and annually certify compliance with a security plan to detect and deter firearm theft;
— Removes limitations on the civil liability of gun manufacturers;
— Allows the Consumer Product Safety Commission to issue safety standards for firearms and firearm components;

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